nike polo shirts for men It’s nothing compared to old days
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facebook email The Packers thrash the Giants in 1961, playing in 21 degree weather with 10 mph winds at City Stadium in Green Bay.
But, for more than 30 years prior and with a few exceptions, the champion of professional football had almost always been crowned in the unkind elements of the East Coast and Midwest teams who made up the leagues. To win it all back then, you had to endure it all, with none of the modern conveniences the Broncos and Seahawks will use to battle the chill of February in New Jersey. A slighty built (5 0, 140) tailor with a pencil thin mustache, he stitched together the Manhattan College uniforms on Saturday and helped out in the Giants’ clubhouse on Sundays. Most importantly, he had a key to the Jaspers’ locker room and the stash of sneakers it held.
Many think Cohen was sent on his mission at halftime, after the burly Bears, 13 0 during the regular season, had skated their way to a 10 3 lead. It had actually taken him the entire time to hail a taxi to and from the Riverdale section after Giants owner Jack Mara had checked things out in the morning to find the field a sheet of ice with the tarp sticking to it. That’s when Giants captain Ray Flaherty suggested to coach Steve Owen they wear sneakers, remembering how his Gonzaga team wore them to beat Montana on a frozen field in 1925.
Having knocked the locks off several lockers, Cohen appeared in the Giants’ dressing room with nine pair of rubber soled footwear that might as well have been Mercury’s winged sandals. Told the Giants were changing into them, Bears coach George Halas growled, “Good. Step on their toes.”
In 1934, it was so cold the Giants decided to wear sneakers to help them move on the frozen field at Polo Grounds. Ken Strong zipped past sliding defenders for two TDs, one of 42 yards. Ed Danowski added another and the Giants, an 8 5 team in the regular season and a 23 21 loser at muddy Wrigley Field in the league’s first ever title game a year earlier,
had pulled off a shocker for the ages.
1948: EAGLES 7, CARDINALS 0
NFL Championship Game at Shibe Park, Philadelphia: A year earlier, the Cardinals had won the NFL title by defeating the Eagles, 28 21, on a frozen field at Comiskey Park.
“It was Chicago. It’s always cold,” says 92 year old Charley Trippi, the fleet running back who, in tennis shoes, had TD runs of 4 and 75 yards against an eight man line designed to stop him.
But if the footing was fragile that year, it was almost impossible the next when a storm dumped a foot of snow on Philly. The players had to help the grounds crew remove the snow laden tarp off the field “We didn’t get paid for it. We should have gotten minimum wage,” Trippi notes but the white stuff soon piled up on the playing surface. No one could see the yard markers while a three foot wall of snow marked the boundaries.
“It just wasn’t a contest. It should have been postponed because the fans got cheated. They saw a terrible football game,” Trippi said. “We got cheated, too. I don’t even like thinking back to it.”
In 1948, a foot of snow swept through Philadelphia as the Eagles defeated the Cardinals, 7 0. (AP)
Trippi and backfield mate Elmer Angsman were handicapped as deceptive type runners. Steve Van Buren was a power back who plowed his way to 98 yards and the game’s only TD after the Eagles recovered a third quarter fumble at the 17. He thought the footing was perfect compared to the previous year when he slipped and fell twice coming out of the huddle.
Van Buren almost didn’t make the game because he thought it would be called off. Coach Greasy Neale phoned to make sure he was coming. Van Buren took a bus, two subways and walked the last seven blocks to the stadium. He’d leave the snowy field with some of the 28,864 fans carrying him off on their shoulders. Supposedly, they had received discounted tickets if they brought a snow shovel.